POLICE and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan is to take on the governance of the fire and rescue service, it has been announced.

The decision, announced today by the Home Secretary, means that Mrs Mulligan and the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will start preparing for formal transfer of governance, due to take place in the autumn.

Mrs Mulligan's business case, submitted to the Home Office in September last year, set out at least £6.6 million of savings. It included proposals for the streamlining of senior management, collaboration on back office support services and sharing buildings between the two services.

“First of all I would like to thank the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for the excellent work they do in keeping the people of North Yorkshire safe," said Mrs Mulligan.

" There is a lot to do, but I am very much looking forward to working with them, and I thank them for their help, and for being so candid during last summer’s roadshows."

She added: “I’m pleased that the Home Secretary has recognised the benefits that joint oversight of police and fire services will bring to the people of North Yorkshire. By bringing both organisations under the same governance, we can increase the speed and depth at which we collaborate, improve transparency and efficiency of both organisations, saving at least £6.6 million to be reinvested into frontline policing and fire services."

She acknowledged that the consultation process towards her taking over governance had been controversial.

“This process has not been without controversy, and I would like to thank and acknowledge all the councillors and MPs that have contributed to, and scrutinised, my business case and consultation to make sure that this was a robust process. I’d also like thank the public for their clear support - we received over 2,500 responses to our consultation, of which 71 per cent preferred PCC-led oversight.”